Odds Stacked Against Nonsurgical Weight Loss

Odds Stacked Against Nonsurgical Weight LossDoctors and clinicians hear it all the time. Overweight and obese patients say they’ve tried every diet and every exercise routine, only to fail to achieve their weight loss goal, or to lose weight and then gain it back. Now there is statistical evidence that shows just how difficult it is for overweight and obese adults to lose the excess weight.

A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health assessed how likely it is for overweight and obese patients to achieve a normal BMI. Electronic medical records for 129,194 men and 149,788 women in the UK were analyzed over an 8 year period. Surgical weight loss patients were not included in this study. Results showed that the likelihood of people with a BMI of 30-35 losing weight to achieve a normal weight (BMI < 25) was 1 in 210 for males and 1 in 124 for females. However, as BMI increased, the odds of obtaining a normal BMI fell drastically. For those with a BMI over 40, 1 in 1290 men and 1 in 677 women were likely to achieve a normal weight. Lead author, Dr. Alison Fildes of King's College, wrote "Once an adult becomes obese, it is very unlikely that they will return to a healthy body weight." She added, "Our findings indicated that current nonsurgical obesity treatment strategies are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients."

While the results of this study may not be encouraging to those diagnosed with obesity (BMI > 30), we believe the results may lead to overweight and obese patients becoming more willing to explore the possibility of surgical obesity treatments. Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band surgeries have been proven to be effective at reducing weight, as well as improving comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. Research indicates that overweight and obese patients who have gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or adjustable gastric band surgery typically experience a weight loss of 10-35% of total body weight depending on type of surgery and compliance to their post surgical lifestyle. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, studies show that most bariatric surgery patients are able to achieve and maintain successful long term weight loss of 50% or more of excess body weight. While this weight loss may not put the patients into the normal weight range (BMI < 25), we find the results are more encouraging than weight loss achieved by nonsurgical methods, especially for morbidly obese patients (BMI > 40).

If you or a loved one has a BMI over 35 and are experiencing difficulty losing weight, please consult with Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A. to discuss your surgical options. Dr. Shillingford specializes in laparoscopic adjustable lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass procedures. His practice is located in Boca Raton, Florida and serves patients from all over the state including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Port St. Lucie, and Delray Beach. To schedule a free informational meeting with Dr. Shillingford, call (561) 483-8840.